Religious Correctness

Religious Correctness
By W. Wesley Wasmundt

The “politically correct” of our day claim to be compassionate, and open-minded toward various opinions and ideas. They claim to care for the homeless, poor, racial minorities, and homosexuals more than anyone else. Their claims sound commendable, but their claims do not match reality. They have a very narrow agenda that has been blended into popular culture through mainline professors on college campuses all over America.

Considering the hallmarks of “political correctness” can help us understand the growing movement of “religious correctness.” The religiously correct have similar claims to those of the politically correct. If we explore the goals, means, and ends of both movements, we discover some amazing similarities: goals are the lofty aims of each cause; means are the slightly veiled system for bringing about their real purpose and agenda; finally, ends are clear as we observe some who have followed these ways.

We must admit that there are many who need someone to care for them. They are unable to care for themselves. The Scripture admonishes us to comfort the feebleminded and support the weak. Those who are widows need help. The poor are always in need of something. However, these very real problems are not best dealt with by politically correct people. It has been said that the liberal movement is concerned more with symbol than substance. This statement can apply just as well to the religiously correct.

The recent shift in our country’s media and educational establishment toward political correctness is also reflected in the church. Religious correctness is cloaked in compassion and open-mindedness.  Just as the politically correct are open-minded about moral values, religious correctness is open to worldliness. Just as the political conservative is considered out of touch with modern reality so is the religious conservative. Abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality are anathema to political conservatives; even so immodest apparel, television, and alcohol use are untenable to religious conservatives.  The stated goals of the politically correct movement tend toward open choices for all, and so do those of the religiously correct.

Their catchword is choice. The word does not always mean one has opportunity to select from more than one option. Pro-choice, relative to the abortion controversy, means women are free to accept choice. In this case choice is like meat stamped “choice,” already chosen for you: abortion is the choicest of all alternatives in the eyes of the pro-choice idealists. If you are for an amendment to the U. S. Constitution that guarantees life to the unborn babies of America, you are branded intolerant. Therefore, this politically correct movement is not pro-choice but anti-life.

Those in religious circles who are opposed to television are branded the same way. Yet the modern home school and Christian school movements speak strongly against television in the home. Most of them are not members of the United Pentecostal Church International; this is not an issue the UPCI stands alone on. Those who are pro-choice on Apostolic doctrine on holiness are really anti-holiness. Their concern is not for what is right but what is allowable. And “allowable” is not the best way to follow the example of the early church doctrinally. It is built on the supposition that we should be allowed to be as worldly as possible within the bounds of broader rules. Pro-choice apostolic’s usually say, “I am personally opposed to the excesses that tend toward a liberal direction in our holiness practices. I just don’t want to impose my beliefs on anyone else.”

Those in the militant choice camp of the abortion debate have labeled those who are pro-life as “anti-choice.” That is not a correct or welcome description of the movement. They simply have a view that opposes what is politically correct.

The religiously correct movement has also mislabeled the movement of those opposing worldliness. They are called “pharisees” or “neopharisees.” The Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked were hypocrites. Most conservative Christians who oppose television women cutting their hair, members attending professional sporting events in large stadiums or coliseums, and unwholesome radio programs are not hypocrites. It may be true that some liberals and conservatives are hypocrites, but neither group has a corner on hypocrisy.

Jesus characterized Pharisees as people who said one thing and did another. That is not the case with most conservatives. Most are genuine and sincere. The fact that they have a well-developed core value structure is not bad. The fact that they belong to an organization that has constitutionally codified their beliefs is good.

Just as the American Civil Liberties Union is an unabashed liberal organization, so the Rutherford Institute is clearly conservative.

Just as one would not expect a liberal to be a member of the Rutherford Institute, so no conservative would be a card-carrying member of the ACLU. Just as the political system has organizations characterized by particular views, so Pentecost has various organizations that have enumerated specific religious views. The Assemblies of God has become a “moderate” trinitarian organization. The UPCI is a “conservative”
Oneness movement. There are trinitarian groups that have holiness practices similar to the UPCI in the same way that there are Oneness groups who are close to the Assemblies of God in their positions on television and adornment. Moreover, it is no secret to any minister who becomes licensed with the UPCI as to where the organization stands on these issues.

The religiously correct movement does not belong in the UPCI. The pseudo-compassion of those espousing the tenets of liberalism in moderate garments is dangerous. Paul warned the pastors from Ephesus, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). There are sure to be areas we will not all agree on. However, when we became ministers in this organization we agreed on the specific tenets of our Articles of Faith, including the Fundamental Doctrine. The honorable thing for those who no longer believe these basic tenets of the UPCI is the same as it always has been: turn in their fellowship card and join a group that represents what they believe.

The teaching of Paul is clear: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17 . “Now I beseech brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthian 1:10).

Most ministers who hold license with us are honorable and decent.  Those who are not in agreement with the Articles of Faith can only be honorable by withdrawing from this fellowship. We must mark and avoid “religious correctness” if we are to continue to be the largest conservative Oneness fellowship.

The Above Material Was Published By Forward, April-June, 1993, Pages 12,13. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Only.